If there’s one good thing to come from the Coronavirus pandemic, it’s a greater sense of community. From the weekly doorstep claps for carers, to people volunteering to help neighbours that they rarely spoke to before, it’s clear that life has changed. How we shop has changed too, even throughout the pandemic.
In the early weeks of the outbreak, shops across the UK struggled to meet demand that resulted from panic buying, with empty shelves in supermarkets a common sight. According to Kantar, March was the biggest month for grocery sales ever recorded, with sales amounting to £10.8 billion. Between Monday 16th and Thursday 19th March, 88% of households visited a grocer, adding up to an extra 42 million shopping trips in only four days.
Throughout April, Tesco has noticed that the number of transactions has halved, but the size of the average basket has doubled, suggesting that we’re moving back towards a single ‘big’ weekly shop. Demand for online delivery and click and collect slots NI remains extremely high, and with social distancing rules, popping to the supermarket is no longer quick or convenient.
Convenience is king
Enter stage left, the convenience store. Offering many of the same items as supermarkets but with the benefit of short (or no) queues and often closer to home, corner shops also experienced less disruption to their supply chain and have a faster response to changes in demand to ensure items remain in stock.
Footfall in convenience stores increased by 25.6% YOY (Retail Data) in the week commencing 30th March, and it has remained high throughout April. Basket values have also increased, in line with supermarket spending.